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THE   WINDOW

had she introduced them then? he asked. Why
indeed?—except that if there, in that corner, it
was bright, here, in this, she felt the need of
darkness. Simple, obvious, commonplace, as it
was, Mr. Bankes was interested. Mother and
child then—objects of universal veneration, and
in this case the mother was famous for her beauty
—might be reduced, he pondered, to a purple
shadow without irreverence.

But the picture was not of them, she said.
Or, not in his sense. There were other senses,
too, in which one might reverence them. By
a shadow here and a light there, for instance,
Her tribute took that form, if, as she vaguely
supposed, a picture must be a tribute. A
mother and child might be reduced to a shadow
without irreverence. A light here required a
shadow there. He considered. He was interested,
He took it scientifically in complete good faith.
The truth was that all his prejudices were on
the other side, he explained, The largest picture
in his drawing-room, which painters had praised,
and valued at a higher price than he had given for
it, was of the cherry trees in blossom on the banks
of the Kennet, He had spent his honeymoon
on the banks of the Kennet, he said, Lily must
come and see that picture, he said. But now—
he turned, with his glasses raised to the scientific

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